Reporters with CNSNews have exposed the simple yet crucial truth of the debate about legal abortion access in America: Supporters of legal abortion deny the humanity of fetuses to defend a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Tim Kaine, Mark Kelly, and John Ossoff all dodged CNSNews reporters’ questions on whether a 15-week-old fetus is a human being. The question is a clear reference to the upcoming Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which focuses on the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Press secretary for President Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, similarly tipped her hand when she reframed the question: “Are you asking me if the president supports a woman’s right to choose? He does.” By offering that response, Psaki tacitly admitted that she felt supporting abortion requires the denial of the humanity of the preborn — since the president believes in abortion rights, he must not view fetuses as humans.
To understand this tactic, consider this 51-year-old editorial from the Western Medical Journal. The editors discussed how the public might support the possible repeal of bans on abortion — at that point, abortion had been illegal in all states, throughout pregnancy, since the mid-1800s. They argued that, in the face of “the long held Western ethic of intrinsic and equal value for every human life regardless of its stage, condition or status,” it had “been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing.”
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The editors admitted this tactic led to “a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception.” Thus, supporters of abortion employed a “schizophrenic sort of subterfuge [since they felt it] is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected.”
Abortion advocates could have played it straight and admitted that each abortion ends the life of a human, as some have; they could have worked to convince the public that abortion is a justifiable form of homicide akin to self-defense. Instead, they believed then, as they do today, that the public would not accept or support legal abortion access if they were to accept the science on when life begins and view fetuses as humans. So, abortion advocates worked to undermine the fertilization view, and they did so effectively.
In the decades after the Supreme Court issued Roe v. Wade, which claimed that there is no consensus on when life begins, polls have consistently shown that most do not accept the fertilization view on when life begins. A recent poll suggested that only 38% affirm the fertilization view. In fact, only 9% of young Democrats reported holding that view, and they are three times more likely to suggest that a human’s life begins at birth (29%). This is despite near-unanimous agreement among scientists.
Forty years ago, the Senate held hearings to determine when a human’s life begins and heard expert testimony from leading physicians and scientists from Harvard, Princeton, and other top academic institutions. The senators’ report concluded that “physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being — of a being that is alive and is a member of the human species” and that “there is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.” Indeed, a recent finding reported that 96% of 5,577 academic biologists from over 1,000 universities around the world agree that a human’s life begins at fertilization.
The science on when life begins is, quite simply, an inconvenient truth that supporters of abortion attempt to hide, obfuscate, and deny. So, it is likely that support for abortion is then artificially inflated and support for fetal rights is artificially suppressed by abortion advocates’ science denial on the question of when a human’s life begins. It is also likely that the truth on when life begins will set us free from the national controversy on abortion. The only question is if the Supreme Court has the courage, strength, and integrity to recognize and follow the truth and all its demands.
LifeNews Note: Steve Jacobs is the program director of Illinois Right to Life. He received his J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. This originally appeared at the Washington Examiner.